Estate planning is not a luxury or precaution solely reserved for the rich. Rather, it is a smart step for any New York person who wishes to protect loved ones and ensure the appropriate distribution of assets after death. It also involves legal protections in case physical or mental incapacitation prevents a person from making medical decisions.
When people plan for the future, they focus on things such as buying a house, buying a car, having a family. Later in life, they plan for how the house and the car are going to be distributed amongst the family.
Estate planning is about more than just passing assets from generation to generation. A balanced estate plan also addresses how your affairs should be handled in the event that you are unable to manage them yourself.
Estate planning can be a complex process. Those attempting to put together a balanced plan likely find themselves navigating difficult questions like:
Baby Boomers have a reputation for breaking through old stereotypes, and they're at it again. Not be outdone by previous generations, Baby Boomers are living longer and more actively. Boomers are taking up new hobbies (paddle boarding, anyone?) and traveling to foreign destinations (off to Europe to explore our roots!). They are grabbing retirement with both hands and making the most of every minute.
Trusts can be an extremely effective tool when creating an estate plan that best meets your and your family's needs. There are numerous kinds of trusts available that all work a little differently.
A will is an effective way of transferring assets upon death, but it isn't the only way. Many people are surprised to hear that they can accomplish the same goals, plus receive additional benefits, by creating a revocable trust.
A trust is an estate planning tool that allows people to transfer assets out of an individual's name, thereby protecting and shielding the assets. Trusts can be especially useful in times of crisis. For example, assets can be placed in trusts to keep them out of Medicaid's reach when a person is in need of home care or nursing home care.
A sudden accident or illness can completely devastate a family, emotionally and financially. However, getting an effective estate plan in place immediately after a crisis can help protect the needs of the loved one in crisis as well as the entire family.
NY has passed legislation that has increased the estate tax exemption from its previous level of $1million to a current value of $3.125,000 and increasing to $4,187,000 on 4/1/2016 and $5,250,000 on 4/1/2017 and on 1/1/2019 and thereafter matching the Federal Estate Tax exemption. This has had a major impact on estate planning in NY.